This is olds

Green power companies are heading for "crisis" and Britain should no longer rely on them to meet its energy security and climate change obligations, some industry experts are warning.

They were always in crisis. They were never going to be able to plug the energy gap.

Could we please have some news in newspapers?

3 comments on “This is olds

  1. Interesting article. All along we have been told by the leaders and the media that the technology is out there, not just to fight Climate change but to lift us out of a recession and ‘provide jobs’ and lucrative opportunities for business start ups and budding entreprenuers etc etc.

    With govt intervention extending to just simple, realistic carbon and pollution taxes, coal, oil and gas would be the cheapest and most beneficial forms of energy. Then it would be nuclear and by the 2050’s probably Fusion. Wind and Solar, it could be argued, would always struggle to be truly competitive.

  2. I’ve worked in renewables for 20 years, and yes, the sector is awash with bullshitters (as is the energy sector generally). But as the Czechs and Poles are trying to point out at the moment, don’t lump us all together, we’re not all the same, whether Eastern Europeans or renewable technologies. Some technologies could make a partial contribution, and unless you think that technologically it has to be all or nothing, then partial contributions are worth having (in fact, if you agree as most energy economists do that the key to security is diversity, partial is better than the single magic bullet).

    The trouble is, the technologies that made the biggest lobbying effort (particularly wind, but wave and solar too) were the ones that needed to make the biggest lobbying effort, because they needed the most government intervention to make them happen. So these are the technologies that everyone associates with renewables, when there are other more practical and reliable options out there.

    Did you know that biomass (landfill gas, waste, straw, wood, sewage, etc) has supplied far more electricity than has come from wind every year in the UK since we started developing new renewables in the 80s? Landfill gas on its own was bigger than wind until (I think) this year. From most of the reporting, you’d think wind and renewables were synonymous, in the same way that you would think, listening to people like Portillo and Ingham, that electricity and energy were synonymous.

    We just need a mechanism to internalize the social cost of carbon, and a competitive, liquid disintegrated energy market, and then we’ll find out what’s really worth doing, and what is flannel. For a suggestion for how to discover the real cost of carbon, rather than ridiculous derivatives like the EU-ETS that have little to do with the risks (whatever you think they are) of harm caused by anthropogenic global warming, have a look at http://www.forever-fuels.com/files/u3/carbon_or_harm_split2.pdf

    For Neil, the stuff about export opportunities and jobs is just flannel that allows the Government and lobbyists to argue that there were other factors besides climate change that should be taken into account when supporting renewables. That allowed them to pick their winners rather than providing a flat price for carbon and see what turned up. Whenever you say in policy meetings “it’s ridiculous that you are treating one means of reducing carbon as somehow two or ten or even one hundred times more valuable than other means of reducing carbon”, the answer you get is “ah, but the mechanism doesn’t just reward the carbon-savings, but all these other ‘benefits’ too, which we’ve somehow calculated justify these differentials”. Actually, I suspect the economists who deal with this in the civil service know this is bullshit, but for as long as their political masters have such an intimate relationship with the Big Six, who see more potential for corporate capture in the wind sector than elsewhere, they have no alternative but to come up with farcically bogus justifications. So we’ll continue to be fed this flannel, until renewables in general are discredited. Makes me sick.

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